BRQ | Vantaa Festival

Helsinge Parish Village

Photo: Riina Koivisto
Photo: Riina Koivisto

Welcome to the historical heart of Vantaa! Helsinge Parish Village is a well-preserved, traditional, idyllic country village between Tuusulantie and Ring III. It is not just any village, since for centuries it was the centre of the whole of the present Helsinki region, long before the City of Helsinki was founded. Its roots stretch back to the 14th and 15th centuries. A fine monument of its medieval past is the Church of St Lawrence in the village centre, our festival’s home and the oldest building in the entire Helsinki region.

Despite the commercial, industrial and residential areas that have grown up around it, the village has succeeded in maintaining its traditional look and is one of the best-preserved cultural landscapes in the City of Vantaa. This does not, however, mean it is like a museum; on the contrary, it is very much alive. Thanks for this go to the village school – the oldest in Finland still in use – the various events held in the village and the highly popular Kahvitupa Laurentius café. The main credit nevertheless goes to the local residents, who keep up the community spirit and look after their heritage homes, the oldest of which were built in the 1780s. The locals themselves are still convinced that their village is the centre of the world.

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